Gangneung South Korea is a city located on the east coast of South Korea located in Gangwon-do and is most known for its beautiful beaches, seafood, surfing, and more. There are so many beautiful things to do in Gangneung and it makes for the perfect summer location to visit. If you are looking for what to do in Gangneung Korea, then you definitely came to the right place.
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Gangneung South Korea | Things to do in Gangneung
Discover the unique charms that Gangneung has to provide with these best things to do in Gangneung. A lot of people make day trips to Gangneung if they are short on time, if that is the case, I highly suggest doing a taxi tour by booking it through gangwontaxi.com.
BTS Bus Stop – One of the most popular Gangneung Tourist Attractions
This is probably one of the most popular spots to visit in South Korea. BTS being the top KPop band in the world, it’s no wonder this location is popular. This is the popular photo spot is the popular setting for their music video for “Spring Day”. It was also the photo spot featured on the cover for the 2017 “You Never Walk Alone” album.
Address: 강원도 강릉시 주문진읍 향호리
The beaches and the water here are popular for surfers all over Korea. It’s one of the best places to learn how to surf since the waves are typically a little bit bigger and the beaches are not as rocky so filled with a lot of sand beaches. One of the most popular beaches to learn how to surf is Surfyy beach. Surfyy Beach is a surfers-only beach. You are not allowed to swim on the beaches here. However, there are some cafes and restaurants nearby.
Address: 강원 양양군 현북면 하조대해안길 119 서피비치
Gyeongpo Eco Marsh Park
This marsh park is typically popular in August when the lotus flowers and prickly waterlily flowers bloom. The park itself is known for seeing some of Korea’s popular animals such as herons. You can also ride on a small boat which you can pull with a rope to pull you across the marsh. It’s a great place to have a leisure walk around and get some steps in.
Address: 강원도 강릉시 운정동 643
Ojuk Hanok Village
This is a beautiful Hanok Village worth checking out. Most people can rent out a Korean-style hanok to stay here and it’s more like a neighborhood. It’s not super traditional meaning most of these hanoks are fairly new and not from ancient times. This village can be the perfect place to stay if you want to have a hanok village stay experience. You can book your stay here.
Address: 강원 강릉시 죽헌길 114
Explore the Gangneung Seongyojang House
This is the house formerly owned by a wealthy person named Lee Nae-beon and the house dates back from the 1700s. It is close to Gyeongpo Lake and was accessible by boat. The complex features a pond, a pavilion, and Joseon architecture. It is well preserved and considered a historic site.
Address: 강원 강릉시 운정길 63 선교장
Gyeongpoho Lake and Bike Tour – A favorite Gangneung Attraction
This was probably one of my most favorite things to do in Gangneung. The lake is absolutely stunning and you get a gorgeous view of the popular Skybay Hotel Gyeongpo. The bike tour was so much fun to do around the lake and is quite affordable. You can choose to do a 4 person bike, a 2 person bike, a single bike, and a moped. There were a few other options as well. If you want to book your bike tour in advance, email [email protected]. They will assist you in English and will be easy to assist.
Address: 강원 강릉시 경포로 489-6
This temple is located on the cliffside of the east coast and it’s on the side of Naksan Mountain. This temple was built in the 11th century during the Silla dynasty. It has a great view of the east sea and is part of the eight sights of Gwandong.
Address: 강원 양양군 강현면 낙산사로 100
Jeongdong-Simgok Badabuchae-gil Trail
This is a beautiful paved wooden trail you can easily take along the coast. It’s beautifully paved and a fairly new attraction. Make sure to visit when the tide is high so that you can get some beautiful views of the crystal clear blue waters. There are a lot of gorgeous rocky cliffs along the side which makes a lot of Korea’s beaches and mountainsides so beautiful.
Address: 강원 강릉시 강동면 헌화로 950-39 바다부채길 정동매표소
Terarosa Sacheon Cafe
There happen to be a lot of great cafes in Gangneung, but this cafe is one of the most popular cafes in the area. It’s a beautiful large cafe perfect for working in or hanging out with friends. They have a variety of different types of desserts and it’s close to the beach.
Address: 강원 강릉시 사천면 순포안길 6
Hike Seoraksan National Park – Most visited things to do in Gangneung
This is one of Korea’s most famous national parks and tourist destinations. This is also Korea’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The hike up this mountain can be quite intense so for those who are disabled or elderly, you can take a cable car up the mountain. It’s a beautiful mountain with a gorgeous view at the top showing some of those gorgeous rocky views. This is probably one the best places to go hiking in Gangneung or nearby at least.
Address: 강원 속초시 설악산로 1085
This pavilion is near Gyeongpo Lake and is surrounded by a pine forest. It’s beautiful to check out and is said to be filled with written works of famous writers from the Joseon dynasty. It is absolutely beautiful and a must to see around springtime with the beautiful cherry blossoms as well.
Address: 강원 강릉시 경포로 365
Take a Day Trip to Yongpyeong Resort
I was able to take a wonderfully sponsored trip to visit this gorgeous resort and it was more than impressed, to say the least. There were a lot of fun and interesting things to do here and even during the off-season. Although, I haven’t been able to visit during winter which this resort is mostly known for such as skiing, snowboarding, and more. Below were some of the highlights at the resort. Book your stay here.
Address: 강원 평창군 대관령면 올림픽로 715
Luge at Yongpyeong Resort
If the Mountain Coaster below isn’t your cup of tea and you want something a little less scary, this is a great activity to do.
Mountain Coaster at Yongpyeong Resort
This was such a fun thing to do and my favorite part of the resort. It was exciting, scary, and so much fun! I definitely recommend doing it if you can.
Ziptrek at Yongpyeong Resort
Enjoy a beautiful zipline ride at Yongpyeong Resort.
Gondola Ride to Balwangsan Skywalk
This gondola ride was probably one of the longest rides I have taken within Korea. It’s a fairly long and high cable car that has some beautiful views.
This is a beautiful skywalk worth seeing during sunset. It’s a glass skywalk with a gorgeous view of the mountainside.
Hwanseon Limestone Cave
This is considered Korea’s largest cave. There are many caves in South Korea and I’ve visited quite a bit, but this one is quite impressive. It’s about 8km in length and has a pretty tall ceiling. You can see quite a bit of stalagmite or stalactites inside the cave.
Address: 강원 삼척시 신기면 환선로 800 대이동굴관리소
Haslla Art World – A popular indoor things to do in Gangneung
This is one of the most famous art museums in South Korea. Tickets are often sold out fairly quickly and require quite a bit of time to walk through the exhibition. It’s recommended to spend an hour to an hour and a half within the museum. The museum also has some exhibits that are traveling exhibits. You can see a variety of different art exhibits here that will pique your interest.
Address: 강원 강릉시 강동면 율곡로 1441
Visit the Chamsori Gramophone and Edison Science Museum
This museum has a collection of old items like a gramophone, music box, radio, TV, and more that have been collected over the years. It has over 30 years of history within this museum. It’s perfect to escape the heat and a great location to take the kids. The Gramophone is probably one of the most interesting pieces of equipment in the museum hence the name for Edison. There are many other collections and inventions by Edison within the museum as well.
Address: 강원 강릉시 경포로 393
There are a ton of beaches that are in Gangneung, it’s the place that is known for its beaches. I have listed all of the popular beaches below that are worth checking out with the exception of Surfyy beach since that was listed above and is only for those who surf or are learning how to surf.
- Gyeongpo Beach
- Anmok Beach
- Sacheonji Beach – A beautiful beach with some gorgeous white sand that is relaxing for anyone who wants a day at the beach
- Yeongjin Beach – The beach where the Goblin Filming location is, it’s further up north
- Hyangho Beach
- Jeongdongjin Beach
- Gangmun Beach
- Jumunjin Beach – This is where the BTS bus stop is located
- Yeongok Beach
- Songjeong Beach
- Deungmyeong Beach
- Gyeongpodae Beach
- Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park
- Naksan Beach
Festivals in Gangneung
- Danoje Festival – A yearly ritual held in June dedicated to protecting hikers, good harvest, safety, and peace.
- Gyeongpo Summer Festival – A 10-day festival held in August which includes KPop band performances, radio stations, and fun events to attract tourists and locals.
- Gangneung Coffee Festival – Celebrating coffee shops along Anmok beach held the first week of October
- Jeongdongjin Independent Film & Video Festival(JIFF) – An outdoor theater held at a public elementary school in August
- Gyeongpo Cherry Blossoms Festival – A festival held during April to highlight the popular cherry blossoms road in Gangneung
- Gangneung International Junior Art Festival – Promoting art made by young artists held in August
Where to stay in Gangneung South Korea
There are a lot of pensions and nice hotels to stay at in Gangneung and it truly depends on you on where you want to stay. I would say that the Skybay Hotel is one of the best because it’s right there on the beach and centrally located, nearby is Gyeongpo lake, the bike tours, and you can easily get a taxi tour from here as well. However, all the hotels below are excellent and worth staying at.
Gangneung Food – What to eat in Gangneung
Gangneung is typically known for seasonal seafood. Gomak is probably one of their biggest specialties which you can get a lot of and serve with Korean-style fried rice.
- Jampong Soon Dubu Soup – A spicy seafood soup with tofu
- Gomak Shellfish and Raw Beef – Typically you will eat the Korean style shellfish and raw beef together served with rice or bokkeum (fried) rice. A lot of time the Gomak Shellfish will also be served in other dishes like Bibimbap (a Korean rice bowl with veggies and a spicy pepper sauce)
- 초당순두부 – Gangneung is popular for their tofu by using saltwater to make it.
The weather in Gangneung is like all over Korea. It’s typically best to visit during the summer months to really enjoy the beaches there, however it’s still just as gorgeous during the off-season. It is less visited so if you don’t want to be around crowds visiting during the winter months would be good. Gangneung is a popular place to visit during the fall and spring to see Korea’s incredible seasonal foliage.
How to get to Gangneung
There are a couple of ways to get to Gangneung although I do recommend by car just because it’s a bit easier to get around, but it’s completely doable by train, bus, and taxi.
How to get to Gangneung by Car
This is my favorite way to travel around Korea especially outside of Seoul and Busan. There are a lot of places you can easily get to by car and doing a taxi tour would be my next option once you get to Gangneung. You can also take the KTX train to Gangneung and get a rental car if you don’t want to drive a long distance. If you don’t live in Seoul, this will be an easier option as well.
How to get to Gangneung by KTX Train
From Seoul, you can easily take the Gangneung KTX from Seoul Station to Gangneung. Once you get to Gangneung you can choose to take a taxi or bus to the location of your choice. I highly suggest you book a taxi tour below.
How to get to Gangneung by Bus
You can take an express bus from the Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Terminal. At Express Bus Terminal, a bus comes every 20 minutes and is very affordable at 14,600 won for a regular bus to 27,900 for a premium bus.
How to travel around Gangneung Other Than By Car
Gangneung Taxi Tours
If you don’t have a car, the best way to travel around Gangneung is by taking a taxi tour. For foreigners, you can get an affordable price of 20,000 won and get to see a lot of great locations in a short amount of time. You can of course extend that time and change the locations. The best way to book your tour is by visiting gangwontaxi.com.
Gangneung City Bus
Gangneung has an excellent public bus system, which is affordable and convenient to use. You can easily access a lot of major spots on the major roads, but it will cut your time during your trip. If you are new to Korea, it can be a bit difficult to navigate if you are unable to read Korean.
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